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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Kazahk Controversy Over 'Borat' Movie

If you know anything at all about Kazahkstan, most of it probably comes from its unofficial, fictional ambassador, Borat– one of Sasha Baron Cohen‘s most charmingly obnoxious alter egos.

New York magazine interviews the city’s Kazakh elite, who are predictably horrified by Borat’s co-opting of their national identity. Before the release of the Borat movie–CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN, the country’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, will visit the U.S., and his government will buy “educational” TV spots and print ads about the “real Kazakhstan.” Which does not, one presumes, include voting rights for horses and awards for “mouth sex.”
Of course this will only add to Fox’s publicity efforts for what looks like a hilarious movie.
Though www.foxmovies.com doesn’t have a Borat page, the studio gives the release date as Nov. 3. You can find the trailer on Youtube and imdb. And if you’re feeling lonely, you can get friendly with Borat on his myspace page. He’s wicked popular.

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One Response to “Kazahk Controversy Over 'Borat' Movie”

  1. Jay says:

    I was one of lucky people to see this movie a few months ago. It is probably the funniest movie you see in a very long time. It is off the hook comedy. The movie follows reporter “Borat” from Kazakhestan to New York to do a story, but he ends up touring US to find his LOVE. It is original and funny. There are some scenes that is guranteed to make you laugh your ass off, to the point you would miss the next acts or jokes. I loved it, and can’t wait to see it again,,,

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon